A sequal to Toronto Calling.

It was Saturday morning and I jumped up early to respond to Josh’s need for his jaunt down to the park. He has become quite good at doing the necessary in the correct place, namely Clarence Square, and has only embarrassed himself once in the apartment. I needed to replenish my stocks in the kitchen. As the supermarket is 2 blocks away and I can only manage to carry a few packets at a time. Therefore this duty seems to come around more frequently than it used to back in SA..

We decided that Kensington Market was going to be our first port of call that morning. The market was established at the turn of the century by East European Immigrants and is an eclectic mix of Lebanese,Jewish, Polish,Polish,Jamaican, Vietnamese (to name a few) shopkeepers. It is more like a bazaar with its narrow streets and art deco style 1930 shops.
They are all  painted in cheerful colours and the shopkeepers shout and banter with you in the hope that you will sample their wares..Some of them have those old glass counters which display their specialities and it brought back a flood of warm thoughts  that I thought had long gone fallen into the depths of my memory bank. As a child we used to holiday in Langebaan and I can remember the high glass counter tops in the general dealer owned by a Portuguese family by the name of Mara.I can remember peering into the display case with my 10 cents pocket money, clutched firmly in my hand, determined to get the best deal possible. Well, here I was again, only this was on the other side of the world and I was now looking for food instead of sweets!

We sat down for a much needed cappuccino in a delightful corner shop. The owner looked like she had just jumped out of an Enid Blyton book in her Woolie hat and her pointed shoes.It was like being in a time warp! We settled down to savour the creamy coffee and to rest our wary feet. By the way , you seldom see an overweight Canadian, these city dwellers know how to walk and it keeps them trim. My feet are still working on becoming city fit!
 The serene background of classical music was suddenly disturbed with a roar from down the narrow street. It was a Harley Davidson motor bike with a rather cool looking Rastafarian donned in his leathers and he definitely did not seem to follow the whole Rastafarian philosophy other than the hairdo! He confidently parked his bike right in front of the shop for all to see and made his grand exit with his expensive leather bag slung across his shoulder. He was obviously a regular and I could not help wondering: What was in the bag?

I found some authentic hummus, a block of Swiss cheese and fresh bread. We had the makings of a picnic! We also chatted to an Iranian carpet dealer who was happy to share his knowledge of the exquisite carpets that lined his shop.I was so tempted but It was time to get back to the apartment and see the damage that Josh had done. He loves the garbage bin as it provides endless fun for him when we are out and about.

We never had that picnic, but were asked to a ‘High Rise Braai’ which took place on the balcony of a 5th floor apartment block! We sat in the howling wind and  enjoyed the warmth and hospitality of our new South Africans friends and the delicious boerewors!

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